The history of the Graduate Schools of the University of Szeged began in 1993, when the National Accreditation Committee of Hungary approved the establishment of 26 PhD programmes, of which 17 belonged to the faculties of the Attila József University and 9 to the Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical University. Since the integration of the two universities and several other higher educational institutions of the region into the present-time University of Szeged in 2000, first 17, by today altogether 19 Graduate Schools has been involved in the training of PhD students based upon the regular (re)accreditation procedures of the National Accreditation Committee.

The Graduate Schools of our university are managed by their Doctor’s Councils which consist of internationally and nationally most renown scientists of the respective field (natural, medical, pharmaceutical sciences, economy, arts, humanities and law). The very high level of qualification is represented by the contribution of 19 members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and also136 Doctors of Science to the activities of the Graduate Schools, providing not only the scientific background but also the fulfilment of legal requirements prescribing the involvement of at least three professors in the pursuit of their Doctor’s Council.

The scientometric and scientific prerequisites to achieve a PhD degree in the various Graduate Schools are defined by the respective Doctor’s Councils and meet the international standards and harmonized to the requirements of the other Schools of the University. To acquire a PhD degree candidates have to take an exam in several main and associated subjects in front of an examination board, after which the thesis, based on own research results must be defended in a public procedure. The degree is issued on the base of the proposal of the Council of the Graduate School by the Doctoral Council of the University and the diploma is presented to the candidates by the Rector of the University under ceremonial circumstances.

As a result of this procedure more than one thousand students have received their scientific degree under the auspices of our University so far and there are nearly one thousand students in training at various levels at the moment. Since these degrees are resulting from a high level of scientific research based on a wide variety of training programs of the Graduate Schools in cooperation of many prestigious Hungarian and international academic and research institutions, their value is highly esteemed and the holders of a PhD diploma from Szeged are most welcome worldwide.

Certainly there are plans to further improve the activity of our Graduate Schools in terms of both quality and quantity, since their contribution to the prestige and development of our University is indispensable; and these visions are well substantiated by the fact that recently the University of Szeged attained — as one of an élite group of the most prestigious Hungarian universities — the “Research University” qualification, which allows us access to grants subsidizing the future development of the technical and human resources in this field.

Prof. Zoltán Kónya
Vice Rector for Science, Research-Development and Innovation